News, Policies, & Trends
I wouldn’t want to leave the impression that the House Agriculture Committee’s attack on the food stamp program was the only threat to low-income people spawned by the Republican majority’s effort to protect defense spending.
The Ways and Means Committee also had to find more savings — $53 billion over the next 10 years. And it too met its target by shifting costs to low-income people. But they’re not the only ones who’ll be harmed by what it’s come up with — far from it.
How would you like to try living on $275 a month — and in the District of Columbia no less? Inconceivable for a single person. What then for a single mother with two kids?
Under Mayor Gray’s proposed budget, more than 6,100 families in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will lose a fifth of their meager cash benefits come October — this on top of the same sized-cut imposed last April.
You can’t have both guns and butter. House Republicans have taken this old piece of federal budget wisdom seriously. They’ve opted for guns — not over butter, but over food assistance for poor people.
The guns at issue here are funds for defense. Sequestration, i.e., the annual across-the-board cuts required by the Budget Control Act, would reduce them by $54.7 billion a year.
California’s state leaders are debating whether they should tax homebuyers in order to fund more affordable housing for those who struggle with renting a house, let a lone buying one.
It used to be the “American Dream” was to purchase a detached single family home down the street from Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Today, that dream has been reduced to simply hoping your family can afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment sandwiched in a multi-storied stucco box.
It’s sad when nonprofits that advocate for the same cause openly fight with one another.
That’s what we’re seeing now as organizations dedicated to improving services for homeless people take opposite sides on a bill pending in the House of Representatives.
Everyone who lives in the District of Columbia knows that there’s a yawning gulf between the haves and the have-nots. But the new income inequality report from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute could still be a shocker. I know it was for me.
Turns out that the income gap between the richest and poorest 20% of households is the third largest among U.S. cities — this based on data from the 2010 American Community Survey.
Some years ago, I was fired from a job I’d had for a long time. I was told my position had been restructured out of existence. But it sure felt like firing to me.
This was during a recession. And as time went on — and hopes dwindled — I got to thinking about what would happen if I never found work again.
So the Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal to extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits — defying predictions of another cliffhanger or worse.
Also extended, as you’ve probably read, were the employee payroll tax cut and the “doc fix” to avert huge cuts in Medicare reimbursements. As you may not have read, some programs for low-income people got a new, temporary lease on life as well.
In 2008, Children’s HealthWatch and partners reported on a unique study aimed at finding out whether food stamp benefits enable low-income families to buy what they need for a healthy diet. Now we’ve got a followup.
The answer now, as before is no. And though the followup was conducted only in Philadelphia, the findings are generally applicable to other urban areas, including the District of Columbia.
A new bill being floated in the US House of Representatives aims to abolish a loop-hole that allows cash-aid welfare recipients to use welfare benefits at strip clubs and casinos. As reported by Politico, the bill, introduced by Republican Representative Charles Boustany is intended to prevent the “fraudulent misuse of funds” in the government’s welfare program.
Sounds pretty serious. So how big of a problem is this?
Apparently, it’s not a big problem at all. In California, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enforced an executive order prohibiting casinos from accepting welfare benefits as payment. His order was in response to this LA Times expose on the unintended use of benefits.